AIFF Executive Director Anne Ashbey to Step Down

The Ashland Independent Film Festival’s Anne Ashbey will be stepping down after two years as executive director. The non-profit organization’s board of directors officially accepted her resignation.

“I have made the decision to step down following the 13th annual festival,” said Ashbey. “This was a difficult decision for me to make, but one that is necessitated by personal circumstances. Please know that I remain committed to AIFF, to ensuring the success of our April 2014 event, and to maintaining the long-term viability of our nonprofit arts organization. I have complete confidence that we have the leadership in place to manage a successful transition and look forward to being an ongoing contributor to this wonderful organization.” Ashbey has agreed to return as a member of the board once her replacement has been selected.

“Anne has been a terrific director and leader, and we are saddened to see her go,” said AIFF Board President Pam Leandro Notch. “Anne, alongside the incredible AIFF staff, has contributed to AIFF’s ongoing success as one of the nation’s premier film festivals and one of the coolest film festivals in the world, one that offers an experience so welcoming and positive that it attracts the best films and filmmakers. The result is an unsurpassed festival experience that has become a vital part of our community and civic life.”

The AIFF board has approved a transition plan and has formed a search committee to identify the new executive director. Ashbey has agreed to stay on through the transition period. “The board is unanimous in its deep commitment to the festival and all the staff who have worked so hard to make it what it is,” said Notch. “Our search committee has begun to look for an executive director who can ensure the continued excellence of the festival and build on the foundation already created.”

AIFF is a widely recognized and highly regarded festival, screening 80-plus independently made documentaries, features and shorts at the Varsity Theatre, the historic Ashland Armory and the Ashland Street Cinema each year. MovieMaker magazine named it one of the “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World,” and holds the number two spot in the “Best Places to Live and Work as a Moviemaker in 2014, Top Towns.” The National Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the National Endowment for the Arts have each twice awarded AIFF with rare festival support grants.

The 13th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival will be celebrated April 3-7, 2014.

For more information, including the executive director position description, visit   Press contact: Pam Leandro Notch, Board President – or Anne Ashbey, Executive Director –